ICRISAT pigeonpea cultivation reaches Uttarakhand hillslopes

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Hyderabad, Aug 29 (UNI) Pigeonpea (red gram, tuvar dal, arhar dal) varieties, developed by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) are becoming popular in the hill slopes of Uttarakhand in North India, and providing an opportunity to the farmers to improve pulse-production in the state.

The programmes is being implemented by ICRISAT in collaboration with Vivekananda Parvathiya Krishi Anusandhan Sansthan (VPKAS), Almora, and the Uttarakhand Department of Agriculture, Dehradun.

The annual demand for pulses in Uttarakhand is 0.3 million tonnes, but the present production is only 0.06 million tonnes, leading to a huge protein-deficiency among the poor population.

Promoting the cultivation of pigeonpea in new areas, such as Uttarakhand, has again highlighted the importance of the Institute's research in improving the agricultural productivity and farmers' incomes in tough terrains, where a large proportion of rich top soil has been washed away with heavy annual rains, said Director General of ICRISAT Dr William Dar, in a statement.

Dr KB Saxena, ICRISAT's Principal Pigeonpea Breeder and leader of the project, explained that the inspiration for promoting pigeonpea in Uttarakhand came from ICRISAT's success in spreading the cultivation of pigeonpea in the sloping hills of southern China.


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